The Dallas Cowboys might have their top candidate in their search for a new Defensive Coordinator after the firing of Mike Nolan. According to multiple reports, former Falcons’ Head Coach Dan Quinn spent the weekend interviewing for the job. Not only that, but reports are also implying he’s the favorite to get it.
Former #Falcons coach Dan Quinn spent Saturday interviewing for the vacant #Cowboys defensive coordinator job, source says. He joins #Falcons secondary coach Joe Whitt and #Panthers defensive passing game coordinator Jason Simmons as the three known candidates.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 11, 2021
Despite his failures in Atlanta, Dan Quinn has the potential to become a good defensive coordinator once again. No candidate is ideal, which is something fans must keep in mind when their favorite team is hiring coaches.
In Quinn’s case, you could point to where the Falcons’ defense ranked during his tenure from 2015 to 2020. But you could very well point to Atlanta’s lack of talent on defense as one of the top reasons why the franchise has struggled on defense over the past few years.
19 PF: 23rd— Connor Livesay (@ConnorNFLDraft) January 11, 2021
19 YDS: 20th
19 TO’s: 19th
20 PF: 19th
20 YDS: 29th
20 TO’s: 18th
Quinn is a bright defensive mind, but in his system, you’re going to need the right players.
It’s fair to point out, though, that those numbers are from Dan Quinn, the head coach. Dan Quinn, the defensive coordinator, got way better results during his two years in Seattle.
Kellen Moore has been an offensive coordinator for 2 years.— Dan Rogers (@DannyPhantom24) January 11, 2021
Dan Quinn was a defensive coordinator for 2 years.
Quinn's unit allowed the fewest yards in the NFL each time. Moore's unit gained the most yards in the NFL if Dak Prescott was on the field.
Imagine having all three.
Quinn isn’t the guy who will try to implement an ambitious and complex defensive system to stop opponents. Considering the results the Dallas Cowboys got from Mike Nolan’s scheme last year, that sounds like a good thing. Instead, if the Cowboys end up hiring Quinn, they’d be returning to a more traditional system.
Where the Dallas Cowboys would mainly benefit from hiring Dan Quinn would be in the secondary. Quinn is known for being the defensive coordinator during the Legion of Boom in Seattle. Under Quinn, the Cowboys could expect to see the defense mixing it up in the defensive backfield while keeping things relatively simple up-front.
When it comes to Dan Quinn and how Cowboys fans should feel about him, the concern becomes talent. Just a few weeks ago, we were talking about how Nolan was a problem but he wasn’t the only problem. In the NFL, you win with talent. Sure, Quinn was behind the Legion of Boom, but do you remember the players?
The Dallas Cowboys won’t have Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, Brandon Browner, and Byron Maxwell on their roster. And that’s not mentioning the players those Seahawks teams had in their front seven.
In order to make Dan Quinn’s defenses successful, the Cowboys will need the right players. And right now, they don’t have them. Jaylon Smith is clearly not the linebacker Dallas hoped he’d be when they signed him to a long-term deal, and the team is in urgent need of cornerbacks and a top-tier safety.
Granted, any defensive coordinator the Dallas Cowboys decide to hire will need better players. But plenty of fans will hope for Dan Quinn to automatically upgrade this defense, something that won’t happen unless the roster is also upgraded significantly.
Overall, Dan Quinn sounds like one of the most qualified candidates available for the Cowboys. He won’t be able to rebuild the defense without adding better players, but fans should be excited about a “back-to-the-basics” approach instead of a complex defense the coaches struggled to implement. Coaches are teachers, and Dan Quinn is just that, which might be what the Cowboys need.
Over the weekend, the Cowboys also met, although virtually, with Joe Whitt Jr. and Jason Simmons to interview them as DC candidates. Whitt Jr. is expected to sign with the Cowboys as a secondary coach if Quinn gets the job as defensive coordinator.
Meanwhile, George Edwards also interviewed with the Cowboys on Monday morning, per Brianna Dix. Edwards could be another top candidate for McCarthy’s team considering his resumé and the fact that he’d be an in-house option after spending 2020 in an assistant position with the Cowboys.
Hearing from my sources that George Edwards, the Cowboys’ senior defensive assistant, was interviewed this morning for the vacant defensive coordinator position.— Brianna Dix (@DixBrianna) January 11, 2021
Featured Image Via Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports